Chelsea Handler And Former Chelsea Lately Co-Star Suffer Unrelated Health Scares During Stand-Up Tours

Chelsea Handler and Heather McDonald
(Image credit: HBO Max/Juicy Scoop)

The comedic world has taken quite a scary hit over the past few days, as Chelsea Handler and her former Chelsea Lately co-star, Heather McDonald, both suffered unrelated health scares while out on their stand-up tours. Handler posted an update from the hospital, as she was forced to postpone a couple of dates on her tour. McDonald, meanwhile, suffered a skull fracture after collapsing on stage during a show.

Chelsea Handler didn’t address why she was in the hospital when she posted to her Instagram stories, just calling it a “scare” and saying she was going to take a couple of weeks to recover before resuming her Vaccinated and Horny Tour. In her video, Handler said (via ET):

I had a scare at the hospital, and I don't have COVID, and I'm okay, but I had to reschedule my shows. So, I just wanted to say that, and I will see you all when I see you, and I'm sorry that I had to cancel. But I'm all OK. And I'm not pregnant. I'm safe and sound, everything's OK. I'm just gonna chill out for a couple of weeks to recover... I'm good and I will be back on track in no time.

Her Instagram page also provided an update for ticketholders for two stops on the tour in Oregon, announcing that the dates have been pushed back a month. The comedian said she was “deeply saddened” by the sudden change of plans: 

Meanwhile Heather McDonald, who was a writer on Chelsea Lately for its eight-season run and often appeared in the show’s sketches, sustained her injury during a stand-up show in Tempe, Arizona. An update was posted to her Facebook page on February 6:

Heather performed at the Tempe Improv on Friday night, Feb 4 with no incident. She spent Saturday morning uneventfully with her son. On Saturday night, Heather began her 7pm show at the Improv, she was on stage for approximately 3 minutes and suddenly collapsed. As a result of the fall, she suffered a skull fracture. She had consumed no alcohol prior to or during the show. She was admitted to a local hospital where comprehensive work up underway. Thus far the tests have revealed no underlying medical issues that may have precipitated this event.

The Facebook post also said that Heather McDonald had received a COVID booster three weeks ago, and she had been tested for COVID and remained negative. McDonald also posted a video update to her Instagram Stories to apologize to fans (via People): 

I'm in the emergency room … I'm so, so, so, so sorry. I passed out onstage. I got up, I did one joke and I felt so dizzy. You can see my eye – I fell. Oh my God. I cannot believe this happened. I feel so terrible that they had to tell everyone to leave and then cancel the second show. Tempe, I will be back.

According to TMZ, she collapsed after making a health-related joke: "I'm vaxxed, double vaxxed, boosted ... and flu shot and shingle shot and haven't gotten COVID and Jesus loves me most." Members of the sold-out audience reportedly thought it was part of the act at first but, when it became clear that something was wrong, an EMT and a nurse in the audience ran on stage to help her. 

Those are certainly two scary situations, and we hope that Chelsea Handler and Heather McDonald continue to recover. Of course, let's also hope that they take the time they need before getting back out on the road.

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.